Direct .AU Launch Date

auDA have just announced Direct .AU is going to be launched on March 24, 2022.

auDA explain the following:

What is .au direct?

.au direct refers to domain names registered directly before the .au (e.g.

Why is .au direct being introduced?

.au direct is an exciting innovation for Australia’s Internet domain that will complement the existing suite of Australian namespaces (e.g. and and:

  • Deliver a wider choice of available names in the Australian domain
  • Allow users to register shorter, more memorable online names
  • Provide names that are easier to type and display on mobile devices.

    The introduction of .au direct is the result of significant public consultation conducted in 2015, 2018 and 2019, and will bring Australia in line with many other country code Top Level Domains including the United Kingdom (.uk), Canada (.ca), the USA (.us) and New Zealand (.nz).

Existing .au domain registrations

It is important to note that existing domain registrations in the .au domain will continue to operate as they do today, provided the registration remains up-to-date. Eligible people will also continue to be able to register new names in the existing namespaces such as,, and

​​​​​​Priority Allocation Process

.au direct names will be licensed through auDA accredited registrars.

Existing holders of a .au licence (e.g. a registrant who holds will have the first opportunity to apply for Priority Status to register the exact match of their existing domain name at the .au direct level (e.g. through the Priority Allocation Process.

Under the Process, exact matches of all names in the Australian registry prior to launch will be reserved for .au direct during the six-month Priority Allocation Period, commencing in March 2022.

Where more than one registrant is eligible to apply for Priority Status for the same .au direct name, the name will be allocated according to priority categories, which are determined by:

  • The existing domain name creation date
  • The Priority cut-off date of 4 February 2018, as outlined in auDA’s Priority Allocation Process.

    The Priority Allocation Process and Priority Status cut-off date were recommended by an independent Policy Review Panel following public consultation.

    More information about the implementation of Direct .AU can be found here.

8 thoughts on “Direct .AU Launch Date

  • August 19, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    Finally a date locked in. Took some time.
    So let’s see if they stick to it.

    Not sure what kind of impact this will have on Australian domain investors..

    Initial thoughts are – it’s creating more opportunity (that’s without the AuDa regs) to domain investors.

    But I’m also thinking of the detrimental impact it might have on the value of… (guess we’ll see).

    Very keen to know how it played out for .uk’s and the .nz’s…

    And will owners be prioritised for the .au too?


    A Domainer likes this.
    • August 19, 2021 at 7:17 pm

      Will push up the value of and to a lesser extent The .au is going to be open to anyone, charities, political causes, individuals and other non commercial entities, so a meaningless extension.

      .au is a new land release. When there is a new land release in the real estate world, it is tacked on to the metropolitan area, and pushes up the value of the most established and interconnected suburbs.

      .au will be more than 3 decades behind and, which are entrenched in the internet landscape and consumer psyche (especially

      Tacking on the junk .au extension will only increase the value of, and make people stop and ask themselves why they haven’t got the right for their business.

      Thank you auDA, it’s going to be a bumper 2023!

      3 people like this.
  • August 19, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    Bruce Tonkin auDA’s own COO said this:

    “The existing second level domains are widely recognised in Australian and internationally.

    A key drawback of introducing names directly at the top level could be damage to the businesses of existing registrants, when registrations at the top level are made to trade off their reputations.

    There would be a significant cost to businesses to try to protect their brands in the top level without any specific gain from a consumer perspective.”

    COVID has destroyed SME’s and businesses … now its auDA turn to profit as they usually do regardless as a fake “Not For Profit”.

    Hey .UK was FREE for 2 years !
    Hey the .NZ conflict process was FREE.. no fees, no tokens etc!

    4 people like this.
  • August 19, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    Well, here we are.

    There were so many people over the years saying “This will never happen”.

    It’s happening!

    March 2022.

    The short of it all is this…

    If you have an existing,,,,, and and registered it on or BEFORE 4 February 2018, you have CATEGORY ONE PRIORITY to claim your matching Direct .AU

    I am a bit surprised they kept the Category One Priority date as 4 February 2018, to be honest.

    The Drop Catching Platforms KNEW about this cut off date, yet still made hundreds of thousands of dollars out of selling premium domain names that had NO CHANCE of claiming their matching Direct .AU

    I’m sure all the debates about this upcoming Direct .AU launch are only just beginning. But, as it’s clear to see, the train is thundering down the tracks…

    2 people like this.
    • August 19, 2021 at 2:52 pm

      Direct registration failed in UK, NZ and other places. Even .ca and .us could never get it up.

      No benefit or reason for existing businesses to change. Meaning it will be the “have nots” and Johnny-come-lates applying for .au.

      But even then, if you’re going to leak tons of traffic to, then signing up for a .au is digging a money pit for yourself.

      Google won’t recognise it. and do not even resolve, and .uk and .nz names have trouble ranking whereas and are the gold standard.

      Spam filters and servers will not recognise and will reject .au, whereas and are well recognised and accepted for 20 years.

      It would cost $100,000+ for pretty much any medium sized business to change to .au. Think about hosting, email addresses, business cards, redirects, logo changes, advertising changes, trademark changes plus project managing it all…

      All costs and no benefit, and in fact immediate detriment for any business already using or

      6 people like this.
  • August 19, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    This is a disaster for the Australian domain space. We have one of the most successful country level domains in All this initiative is going to do is water down the value/relevance of both and .au domains (undermining the very reason for the existence of the industry body that has pushed for this to happen). Suddenly .com will be the new gold standard for businesses that want to avoid the AU clutter.

    2 people like this.
  • August 20, 2021 at 1:53 am

    Haha is that you Snoopy? No, I think .au will be very good for especially.


    We all know is the best. Coles knows it, Myer knows it, NAB knows it, Google knows it.

    Adding choice increases relativity.

    When the value of something can be assessed relative to something else, this provides certainty and enhances consensus.

    In other words, the inferior augments the superior.

    A tasty apple is appreciated more when it is compared to a bad apple.

    So no, let’s welcome the bad Apple (.au), it will make us appreciate what we have in even more.

    Everything written above has already been proven. The new TLDs eg. .xyz, .guru, .online only pushed up the value of .com further. More choice means the best choice is more apparent.

    2 people like this.
  • August 20, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    I see this as a way for auDA to increase its cash flow. Let’s face it, auDA’s cash comes from registrations and renewals. They get nothing from the aftermarket other than Change of Registrant fees. The domain market, while it ebbs and flows, it is relatively flat from a registration and renewal point of view. The release of direct domain au increases their cash flow by at least 50%. A company must now register,, to secure their IP. So a massive increase of Registrations for its release and then the trend line is up by 50%.

    At the same time, I suspect that the .au space will dilute the value of portfolios in the aftermarket. Before there was one special name for a company there is now two. So will there be more money to spend on the aftermarket or just the same money will be split between and .au domains? The domainers with substantial portfolios must decide if they protect their investment by trying to get the .au for their portfolio. How many domains are in your portfolio? Will you be reserving your .au domains? How many will be contested? How are you going to manage this at volume? How about the race to secure a just so that you can reserve the .au?

    Now that auDA has reduced their workload with the complaints process being handled by the registrars (See April 12 updates), the escalation in workload falls squarely on the shoulders of the registrars for the complaints that will surround the “rights of ownership” for the .au domains. Not to mention all the software that the registrars will have to develop to handle the decision-making process of domain allocation. I don’t know the details of how the information is stored in the database, but I am sure that it will take many hours to do.

    So my uneducated perspective looks like this:

    – Increases in profit → auDA.
    – Increases in workload (software and support) → registrars.
    – Loss of income → existing domainers.
    – Increase in costs → Australian Public.
    – Increase in headaches → All the above.

    Anyway, I hope that I am wrong, and the .au registrations are good for everyone, and the above is just teething problems. I cannot help but think that that it is driven by profit (ironically from a not-for-profit organisation) and not the best interest of Australia.

    3 people like this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *